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Member since: Sat Sep 26, 2015, 03:46 PM
Number of posts: 9,139

Journal Archives

She Came to the US to Study With Only $300 in Her Pocket --

Now She’s a NASA Director For the Mars Rover

What an uplifting story of a truly inspirational person.

For a little girl growing up in Colombia in the 1980s, a science career with NASA may have seemed about as likely as setting foot on a faraway planet. These days, however, Diana Trujillo is an aerospace engineer.

In fact, she leads a 45-person team at the NASA laboratory that’s responsible for the robotic arm of the latest Mars rover.
. . .

Rest of article at: https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/diana-trujillo-nasa-role-model-mars/

GOP Can't Figure Out How To Make Joe Biden Black, A Woman Or Both

Nothing new, but a good read.
Republicans are struggling — hooray! — to “define" Joe Biden or, more to the point, falsely smear the president as a Kenyan socialist demonic baby eater. Their scuzzy tactics worked so well with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. What's different about Uncle Joe? That will likely remain a mystery for as long as Biden remains an old white guy.

From the Associated Press: "There's just not the antipathy to Biden like there was Obama. He just doesn't drive conservative outrage," said Alex Conant, a longtime GOP operative, who worked for the Republican National Committee in 2009 as they labored to undermine then-President Barack Obama.

There's not much “labor" involved with going full racist against the first Black president. (Which AP actually noted! "Biden, who focused a portion of his campaign trying to win back working-class white voters who left the Democratic Party for Trump, also inherently does not face the racist attacks aimed at Obama or the sexist ones targeted at Clinton." Will you look at that!)
. . .
They've started to focus their attacks on Vice President Kamala Harris, who is both Black and a woman. She even has her own racist “birther" controversies. Conservatives are now implying that Harris is the true power behind the throne because unlike Mike Pence, her duties are more comprehensive than massaging the president's ego.
. . .
It's reasonable that world leaders would view the young, badass vice president as a future commander in chief. Preparing Harris to take the conn is responsible leadership from Biden, not an abdication of duty. The New York Post reported that Pence didn't speak directly with any world leaders during his final year in office, even though there was a global pandemic and he was theoretically the head of the coronavirus task force.

Harris isn't running the country, but conservatives probably wish she was. Their bigoted bag of tricks just aren't working against Biden.

Source: https://www.wonkette.com/gop-cant-figure-out-how-to-make-joe-biden-black-a-woman-or-both

On Jan. 6, Proud Boys believed police were on their side because for four years...

they had been.

A veteran officer on the Fresno, California, city police force was placed on leave over the weekend when it emerged that he had joined a group of Proud Boys in counterprotesting local citizens who oppose turning over a local theater to an anti-LGBTQ church. But it also turned out that this was nothing new: The officer, a veteran of over a decade named Rick Fitzgerald, had been marching with the hate group for over three years.

It went unnoticed largely because modern police culture, over the past four years, developed an extremely tolerant and often benign approach to dealing with far-right street brawlers like the Proud Boys. As The New York Times explored in depth this weekend, it took their prominent role in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol for law enforcement to recognize that these proto-fascist organizations are a public menace, and the involvement of law enforcement officers both in the groups themselves, and in enabling their violence—often by turning a blind eye to it, while charging their victims with crimes—is a serious problem that police agencies around the country must confront.
. . .
Investigative journalist Will Carless—who last year cowrote for Reveal News a piece exposing how police officers around the United States participate in extremist Facebook pages, and how their departments permit it—observed on Twitter that in the course of reporting that piece, his team had contacted several internal affairs departments about these officers’ activities, and “as far as we know, they did nothing.”
. . .

source: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/3/15/2021212/-A-police-culture-sympathetic-to-Proud-Boys-helped-fuel-their-violent-drive-toward-insurrection

President Joe Biden makes dent in partisan divide with COVID-19 response

Latest Iowa Poll, with interesting breakdown of so-called "independents".

The majority of Iowans hold favorable feelings toward President Joe Biden a month and a half into his term, despite the state voting to re-elect former President Donald Trump by a margin of 8 percentage points four months ago.

Fifty-one percent say they hold either very favorable or mostly favorable feelings toward him, according to the latest Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll. The poll, conducted by Selzer & Co., found 46% hold either mostly unfavorable or very unfavorable feelings toward Biden, a Democrat.

In September 2020, as the former vice president campaigned for the presidency, only 43% of Iowa adults said they had favorable feelings about him, and 51% held unfavorable feelings.
. . .

And as an example of an "independent" views:
. . .
Poll respondent Chris Savin, 45, of Cedar Rapids, also identifies as a political independent who intended to vote for Trump in November but his schedule interfered with getting to his polling place. He said he generally disapproves of Democrats and lumps Biden in with his party.

He specifically cited his disapproval of Biden's move to rescind Trump’s border control policies and speculated he did so because "obviously the Democrats want the Mexicans’ votes.” Savin also questioned Biden’s age and fitness for office.

“When Trump was running things, he had his finger on the pulse of everything. But Biden is going through a fog — whatever they tell him to do, he does,” Savin said.

Savin told pollsters he holds very unfavorable feelings toward Biden, and disapproves of Biden’s overall job in office as well as his response to the pandemic. COVID-19 relief hasn't gone to those who need it, Savin said.
. . .

Source: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/iowa-poll/2021/03/15/iowa-poll-joe-biden-majority-favorable-ratings-trump-won-state/4645121001/

Joe Biden is boring -- and it's driving the media crazy

Excellent article by Amanda Marcotte. She understands how the media, even the serious media, works.

After years of relentless reality show antics caused by Donald Trump, the latest word in the cable news discourse is that President Joe Biden is boring. He spends all his time doing policy work and his press engagement is a total snoozefest, with nary a single unhinged rant in front of buzzing helicopter blades. And the mainstream press is starting to get annoyed by it.

Last week, the Washington Post editorial board complained, "Avoiding news conferences must not become a regular habit for Mr. Biden," even while grumpily admitting that, unlike Trump, Biden's White House has daily press briefings that "are informative, not forums for White House lackeys to attack journalists." Over the weekend, the clamor for press conferences featuring Biden himself grew louder, with members of the White House press corps such as Jonathan Karl of ABC News admitting that "reporters like press conferences and will always demand them" while insisting "press conferences are for the public's benefit."
. . .
Biden's refusal to take the bait helps cut off oxygen to such bullshit.

The Dr. Seuss story, for instance, is already running out of steam because Biden isn't on hand to give quotes for Fox News to pretend to be offended by. Republicans are nothing but trolls these days. There are plenty of people on hand who can handle the fake outrage about children's toys and "cancel culture" without wasting Biden's time. For his purpose, Biden's smartest move when dealing with trolls is not to feed them.

To be certain, the idea that the president should do more press conferences sounds good and reasonable in the abstract. In our current climate, however, there's a serious need for everyone — politicians, pundits, journalists, even news consumers — to detox after years of Trump's roller coaster of manufactured drama.

Trump turned governing into a reality TV show akin to "The Apprentice." Turning it back into a real government may just depend on Biden's ability to stop feeding the beast. There is no reason to think Biden will hold out on press conferences forever, but by keeping them lean and mean, he can hopefully train the press to focus on issues that matter instead of wasting everyone's time with "gotchas" and right wing-generated nonsense.

source: https://www.salon.com/2021/03/15/joe-biden-is-boring--and-its-driving-the-media-crazy/

Mercers, Peter Thiel drop millions to back "Hillbilly Elegy" author

Billionaires who bankrolled Trump donate more than $10 million to super PAC supporting J.D. Vance's Ohio campaign

The Mercer family and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel are backing a possible Senate run by "Hillbilly Elegy" author J.D. Vance after bankrolling former President Donald Trump.

Bob Mercer and his daughter Rebekah, who were instrumental in Trump's 2016 rise, made a "significant contribution" to Protect Ohio Values, a super PAC formed last month to back Vance's likely bid, Bryan Lanza, a spokesman for the PAC and a former Trump aide, told the Cincinnati Enquirer. The Mercers have also funded the far-right news outlet Breitbart, the far-right social network Parler, the Brexit campaign and such right-wing lawmakers as Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri, who pushed false claims about the election ahead of the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
. . .
Vance, a fellow at the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute who has described himself as a "nationalist," has considered running for a Senate seat in Ohio since 2018 and drew support from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., according to BuzzFeed News. He ultimately chose not to challenge incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, in 2020, but quickly catapulted into the conversation after Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, announced that he would not seek re-election in 2022.
. . .
The financial support comes as Vance has increasingly begun to echo right-wing talking points about "identity politics," which he recently told Fox News' resident white nationalist Tucker Carlson are "destroying our society."

Vance's Twitter timeline has also become "basic Tucker Carlson Threats to America content," wrote Georgetown professor Don Moynihan, noting that Vance frequently focuses on criticism of cancel culture, immigrants, and woke elitists while "studiously" avoiding any criticism of Trump, the Big Lie, white nationalism or the Capitol riot.
. . .

source: https://www.salon.com/2021/03/16/mercers-peter-thiel-drop-millions-to-back-hillbilly-elegy-authors-possible-senate-run/

Anyone here from FL Congressional District 26?

Rep Carlos Jimenez was just on NPR discussing Biden's border immigration status, quoting "border patrol", blaming Biden for everything Jimenez claims is bad.

I noticed this district supported trump after voting for Obama and Hillary and that it tends to flip back and forth at the Congressional level.

Does anyone have any insight into why the voters flipped between parties? Is there any chance of winning this seat in 2022?

A short history of the filibuster: Rarely a tool for good -- and never a tool of democracy

The filibuster is not some sacred institution and isn't in the Constitution — it's a dumb, anti-democratic mistake
By Matthew Rozsa

It's hard to imagine literally talking for an entire day, but that is what happened during the longest filibuster in Senate history. The year was 1957 and Strom Thurmond, a South Carolina white supremacist best known for running as a third-party presidential candidate nine years earlier, talked for 24 hours and 18 minutes to stall a major civil rights bill. It was the first major civil rights legislation since the 19th century, so Thurmond droned on and on and on. Nothing he said was particularly memorable, but he was determined to stop even the modest voting reforms contained in the proposed legislation.

On two occasions, however, Thurmond hit a snag: He had to go to the bathroom.
.. .
Unfortunately for America, the filibuster still exists — and may still be used to strip people of their voting rights. In fact, the filibuster itself could be fairly described as the single worst feature of U.S. Senate procedure. It exists because of a thoughtless error and has only infrequently been used for positive ends.
. . .
That brings us to the present. Even though President Biden's COVID-19 stimulus relief package is wildly popular, not a single Republican senator voted for it. McConnell, it is obvious, plans on trying to thwart Biden's agenda in the same way that he made life miserable for Democrats during the Obama era. While Democrats were able to push Biden's bill through via the budget reconciliation process, they won't be able to do so for most of the new president's agenda. Their only option, if they hope to get anything meaningful done, is to repeal the filibuster entirely, much as Republicans repealed it in 2017 relating to the confirmation of Supreme Court justices.

But in a 50-50 Senate, with Vice President Kamala Harris serving as the tiebreaker, Democrats can only repeal the filibuster if every single Democratic senator votes to do so.
. . .
If the filibuster were actually some venerable bulwark of democracy, enshrined in the Constitution and protecting good government, maybe a case for it could be made. None of that's true: It was born of absent-mindedness and has mostly been used as a tool of oppression. To preserve democracy — and basic human decency — the filibuster has got to go.

Source: https://www.salon.com/2021/03/14/a-short-history-of-the-filibuster-rarely-a-tool-for-good--and-never-a-tool-of-democracy/

Opinion: Here's the difference between the Democrats and the Republicans

Excellent article by Jennifer Rubin that says what most Democrats know is true.

While it is possible that New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) will ride out the burgeoning scandal involving multiple complaints of sexual harassment and concealment of nursing home deaths due to covid-19, Democrats are trying their level best to dump him
. . .
This is what a responsible party does. Its members assess the magnitude of credible evidence of wrongdoing, the severity of the alleged conduct, and the moral and political cost of defending a scoundrel, and then put decency and good governance ahead of tribal loyalty. This is not a weakness; it affords them moral authority and reaffirms the trust that voters place in elected officials.

The Republicans time and again have shown that they would never do such a thing.
. . .
The irony is that the GOP used to fancy itself as the party of personal responsibility and public rectitude. Now it is a party of professional victims, wallowing in the myth of anti-White racism, incensed when presented with the concept of implicit bias and ready to smear women of color nominated for key posts for the same conduct that Republicans tolerated from White men. (Perplexed that police groups could support a progressive woman of color such as Vanita Gupta, Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas actually accused her defenders last week of coercing police organizations into giving enthusiastic endorsements, an allegation entirely without support, fiercely denounced by police groups and revealing of his own biases about police and civil rights leaders.)
. . .

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/03/14/heres-difference-between-democrats-republicans/

Opinion: Joe Biden's covid-19 relief bill is an extraordinary achievement

Opinion by Helaine Olen
The just-signed $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act is incredibly popular. Polling shows that 7 out of 10 Americans support it. A majority of men and women say they are in favor of it. People of all ages, races and income brackets give it a thumbs up in large numbers.

This is extraordinary. In a nation where people who need to rely on welfare to get by are routinely derided as “takers,” Joe Biden and congressional Democrats sold the nation on the largest expansion of the social safety net since the Great Society initiatives of the 1960s, and they did it in less than two months.

Republicans have been left in the dust, reduced to whining about how the plan is not “prudent” — to quote Rep. Charlie Dent (Pa.) — when they aren’t falsely attempting to take credit for parts of it, as Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker did.

Here’s the secret: By ignoring decades of so-called Washington wisdom about the need for narrowly targeted aid and small steps forward, this legislation allows us to sidestep our societal tripwires around race, poverty and who we think is deserving of a government assist.

The American Rescue Plan assumes that almost everyone can use a helping hand. According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, roughly 85 percent of adults and children will receive a stimulus payment — meaning, as Biden said in his Thursday night speech, that “a typical family of four earning about $110,000 will get checks for $5,600.” The yearlong expansion of the earned-income tax credit will significantly reduce child poverty, and the additional child tax credit will impact more than 90 percent of households with children under the age of 17. And for those who receive their health insurance through a federal exchange, not only are subsidies upped for two years but premium payments also are capped at 8.5 percent of household income. There’s $39 billion in aid for child-care centers, and $29 billion in help for restaurants.
Now our new president has raised the bar — and then some — for what kind of help Americans can expect from our government in future economic downturns. Yes, many of the benefits for individuals and families are temporary, but, it’s almost certain that the expansion will create a large constituency for making them permanent. This bill is a remarkable and amazing achievement.

source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/03/14/joe-bidens-covid-19-relief-bill-is-an-extraordinary-achievement/
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